Book Review – Where Is History Going?

Where Is History Going? by John Warwick Montgomery

Zondervan Publishing, 1969

Another on the reading list for this event this summer.

Having read multiple books by Montgomery in recent months, this book echoes many of the same themes.  That’s good because it should help reinforce them so they come to mind in class, however it makes it difficult to read at times.  The material here is good, although some of it is very detailed responses to major movers and shakers in history and philosophy 50 years or more ago.  While the historical perspective is good and helpful to understand how we’ve reached where we are today, much of that particular material I skimmed.  Unless I am reading that particular historian or philosopher, reading an extended critique of them is difficult at best.

As such, for me, the best section was the last, a brief essay from Avrum Scholl entitled “Did Jesus Really Exist?”  It quickly addresses the main and earliest historical references we have for Jesus, both from Biblical and non-Biblical material.  The information (though presented in more depth in other of Montgomery’s writings) is useful and applicable still today in discussions with people who assume that Jesus is actually a figure of myth rather than a historical personage.

I’m not sure I would recommend this book unless you’re a historian or a philosopher.  From an apologetics standpoint there is too much to wade through for specific information.  However it is useful to recognize that where we stand today in a relativistic culture has roots.  Being acquainted with some of those roots is always a good thing, since we all easily fall prone to assuming that the current way of looking at things is the way people have always looked at them, and in fact is the only way to view them.  This is dangerous and foolish.  Always.

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